Petrol in Kolkata crosses Rs 104; diesel less than Rs 5 short of century – Times of India

Kolkata News
KOLKATA: Petrol price in the city crossed the Rs 104-mark on Friday, three months after it had crossed Rs 100. It has been on an upward rise over the last two weeks with price revisions being done eight times in twelve days. Diesel price has also increased significantly and now stands at Rs 95.19, less than Rs 5 short of a century amidst volatility in the global oil prices.
In Kolkata, petrol price had hit the century run across all petrol pumps on July 7 as it clocked Rs 100.29 per litre. It had a steady run for the next 11 days to reach Rs 102.14 and the price remained there till August 21 following which it started dropping and came down to Rs 101.64 on September 7. The price remained constant at this mark for the next 20 days after which the rise started again and it has now crossed Rs 104.

“Once the price has crossed Rs 100, these minor changes don’t affect anymore. I had never felt any relief because of the one-rupee price fall but now that the price has started to increase steadily again, I wonder if it will cross the Rs 120-mark by the end of this year. That will certainly hurt us,” said Subhadeep Mitra, who has started riding his bike more often these days keeping his car in the garage to save on fuel cost.
Fuel prices in the country have been hovering at record levels on account of 41 increases in its retail rates since April this year. It fell on a few occasions but largely remained stable. Petrol prices had maintained stability between September 6 and September 27 but oil companies finally raised its pump prices last week given a spurt in the product prices lately. Petrol prices have also risen on six of the previous eight days.
OMCs had preferred to maintain their watch on global oil situations before making any revision in prices. This is the reason why petrol prices were not revised for the last three weeks. But extreme volatility in global oil price movement has now pushed OMCs to effect the increase.
Benchmark Brent crude oil is trading at over $82 per barrel. When the price had crossed Rs100, the Brent crude was selling at $76.20 per barrel and at the start of the year it was about $51.80 per barrel. Sources at an oil PSU suggested the price of crude oil can rise further up to $90 per barrel by December which will certainly lead to further increase in fuel prices in Kolkata as well as the rest of the country.
Petrol pump owners’ association has demanded the Centre and state to reduce taxes that constitute over 55% of total price paid for a litre of petrol. “There has been a steady fall in oil consumption by motorists after the constant price rise. Considering a zero tax situation, we can sell petrol at Rs 44 per litre. The Centre and state should seriously consider reducing the tax components else our country will head towards an overall rise in inflation,” said Snehasish Bhowmik, vice president, West Bengal Petroleum Dealers’ Association.